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Top 10 Royal Caribbean Lift and Shift questions

10 Jul 2020

With so many cruise cancellations these days, Royal Caribbean devised a new way for guests to easily defer their cruise vacation with the Lift and Shift program.

This new policy makes moving an existing cruise vacation to next year much simpler than having to cancel a reservation, get a refund, and then re-book and re-pay for everything. Plus, it has the added benefit of protecting the price you paid for the original reservation.

Considering the typical year-over-year price increases, Lift and Shift has proven to be a very lucrative and popular choice for guests.

Naturally, new policies tend to have lots of questions associated with them, so here is a look at the most commonly asked Lift & Shift questions readers have been asking.

Who is eligible to use Lift & Shift?

The Lift & Shift option is available to guests with existing bookings, as well as someone who has had their cruise cancelled by Royal Caribbean.

If you have a cruise booked currently, you can elect to Lift & Shift that sailing between now and August 1, 2020. After this point, Lift & Shift expires and is no longer eligible (although Royal Caribbean could potentially extend it).

If Royal Caribbean cancelled your cruise during the sailing suspensions departing June 12 - September 15, 2020, as well as Bermuda sailings and those sailings visiting a Canadian port through October 2020. Likewise, Odyssey of the Seas departures between November 5, 2020 and April 17, 2020 are also eligible.

Sailings previously impacted by cancelled cruises prior to June 12, 2020 are unfortunately ineligible.

Can I use Lift & Shift with any cruise fare?

Lift and Shift works with most fares, but there are a few restrictions on select rates that are ineligible for Lift and Shift.

These include (but not limited to):

  • Net rates
  • Casino rates 
  • Travel Agent Friends & Family rates
  • Travel Agent Reduced rates
  • Complimentary staterooms

Do I have to book the same ship or ship class when using Lift & Shift?

No, you do not have to rebook on the same ship or even the same class of ship.

The requirement for Lift & Shift is to ensure it is the same itinerary, stateroom category, sailing length, and timeframe. You can move between ships without an issue, provided those other requirements are met.

Will add-ons (such as air, transfers, and hotel) and pre-cruise purchases (such as beverage packages, shore excursions, etc.), follow to the future ship/sailing?

No, all add-ons and pre-cruise purchases will be cancelled and refunded when opting to Lift & Shift.

These add-ons can be added to the future reservation, as desired, at prevailing rates.

Keep in mind that while Royal Caribbean's promotions carry-over with the reservation, any promotions or incentives your travel agency may have provided will likely not carry over.

Are there any sailings that I cannot Lift & Shift my cruise to?

There are a few dates that you cannot Lift & Shift to, unless you are already booked during this time of year.

This includes Christmas, New Year’s, and Chinese New Year’s cruises.

If you are already booked on one of these holiday sailings and want to take advantage of Lift & Shift, you can move to the same sailing next year (assuming all other qualifying criteria is met).

Can I Lift & Shift a 2021 sailing to 2022?

This is a gray area of the rules, where I have heard from numerous readers they have been able to Lift & Shift their reservation to 2022.

It seems in general it is possible, but it may require talking to the right person to get it done. 

It seems the only caveat is that is allowed as long as there are sailings in your date range (currently Royal Caribbean only has 2022 cruises available to book through early 2022).

Is there a limit to the number of times I can Lift & Shift a reservation?

Yes – throughout the life of your client’s booking, you can opt to Lift & Shift only one time during the designated opt-in period.

Can I Lift & Shift if I have only paid deposit, and not made final payment date?

Yes, all that is required to take advantage of Lift & Shift is for names and full deposit to be on the reservation.

This includes refundable or non-refundable cruise deposit. Either one will work.

When you complete Lift & Shift, your deposit type remains the same, so a refundable deposit remains a refundable deposit.

Can I Lift and Shift if I am past Final Payment and now within the cancellation penalty period?

Yes, provided all required criteria are met, your client can opt to Lift & Shift to a qualifying future sail date.

Since your current reservation falls within the cancellation penalty period, the applicable penalty amount (as indicated on the
day the booking is re-accommodated) will follow your reservation to the new ship and sail date.

Assuming that you sails as planned, there is no impact. Should you decide to cancel in the future, the assessed penalty amount
from the original reservation will be withheld, as well as any additional cancellation fees as indicated by the payment schedule on the new ship and sailing.

Once I decide to Lift & Shift my reservation, can I change my mind later for a refund or Future Cruise Credit?

No, once you decide to Lift & Shift , reverting to a Future Cruise Credit or requesting a refund at a later time is not an option.

Lift and Shift Tips & Tricks

Here are a few bonus tips to keep in mind if you opt to Lift and Shift!

You cannot pick a room with the self-service form. When you decide to Lift and Shift, if you use the self-service form online, you cannot specify a specific room. If you want to pick your room, you will need to call.

Beware of inconsistencies. Royal Caribbean has been inconsistent with enforcing certain Lift and Shift rules, such as the exact same itinerary. Going between Western and Eastern Caribbean is technically not allowed, but some people have been able to do it by simply talking to a different agent.

Your cruise-add on pricing does not carry over. It is worth noting again that your drink package, shore excursion, or specialty dining purchases will be refunded when you Lift & Shift. You certainly can re-purchase them for your new sailing, but it will be at the prevailing rates.

Have you used Lift & Shift?

What has been your experience using Lift & Shift? Is there a question you still have about the process? Share your questions and advice about Lift and Shift in the comments!

You can combine Future Cruise Credits instead of separately being reissued

26 Jun 2020

Royal Caribbean has made it easier to manage Future Cruise Credits in a situation where a guest uses a Future Cruise Credit towards another sailing.

In a scenario where a guest uses a Future Cruise Credit to pay for their existing cruise, but now wishes to cancel under “Cruise with Confidence” terms, the cruise line aims to simplify the process.

If a Future Cruise Credit was leveraged to pay for either all or a portion of the existing reservation, Royal Caribbean will make it easier by combining all funds into one voucher. This is an alternative to having multiple FCCs, one from each cancelled booking.

The value of the original FCC will now be added to the new FCC at 100% of its original value, plus the addition of any amount paid by the guest.

Regardless of the original FCC’s expiration date, the new FCC is valid through December 31, 2021, at which time all unused funds will expire.

Prior to this change, Royal Caribbean would have issued a separate FCC for each cruise instead of combining the value into one.

This is another change Royal Caribbean has made to its Future Cruise Credit program, which has evolved since the start of the current global cruise suspension in order to meet the needs of guests.

Earlier in June, the cruise line began allowing guests to use Future Cruise Credits to pay for a new cruise deposit.

Future Cruise Credits are an option for guests who either choose to cancel their cruise up to 48 hours before the sail date via the Cruise with Confidence program, or have their cruise cancelled by Royal Caribbean. In either case, a voucher code is provided that can be redeemed for the value of the sailing.

When Royal Caribbean cancels the sailing, the Future Cruise Credit is worth 125% the value of the cruise fare that the guest paid.

You can now use a Future Cruise Credit to pay for a Royal Caribbean cruise deposit

08 Jun 2020

Royal Caribbean has updated its policies to allow guests to use a Future Cruise Credit towards the deposit on a new cruise booking.

The cruise line updated its policy on Monday to allow guests to use a Future Cruise Credit to pay for the deposit owed on a reservation.

As long as the value of the Future Cruise Credit covers the full deposit amount, no additional funds will be owed until Final Payment, at which time any cruise fare balance and taxes/fees will be required. 

If the value of the FCC does not cover the full deposit amount, additional funds will be required to meet the total deposit needs and, thereafter, the remaining balance due at Final Payment.

Prior to this policy change, guests with a FCC would be required to put a cash deposit down first on a new reservation, and then apply a FCC to the reservation.  

Royal Caribbean expects new changes once cruises resume may not be permanent

28 May 2020

When Royal Caribbean starts sailing again, the cruise line expects new policy changes to evolve and change over time.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd Chairman and CEO Richard Fain was interviewed by Travel Weekly, and indicated new policies added when sailings return might not be a permanent change.

"There will be a lot that will be a lot different, but it’ll be one thing the day we start up and something else a month later, and something else a month after that."

Mr. Fain's comments today echoed what he recently told CNBC that the start up will resemble what we see in society with an evolving approach to policies, "And my guess is that when we start, we will limit the number of people who can go on to a ship, just as my neighborhood restaurants are beginning to open up."

"And by the way, we'll learn from the experience in our society. We'll learn from the restaurants. We'll learn from the barber shops. we'll learn from the experience in our society. We'll learn from the restaurants. We'll learn from the barber shops. I know I need one and I We'll learn and we will adjust much as they are doing. So we'll start at one point and then gradually, as knowledge of the disease, as the testing, as the contact tracing, as vaccines come on board, that will gradually adjust.

Royal Caribbean has not announced any new policies or changes guests can expect in order to keep everyone onboard safe. 

There has been plenty of speculation in and around the industry, with parallels being drawn to other businesses and industries that are beginning to start up.

Royal Caribbean's current date to resume sailings is August 1, 2020, with the exception of China, which is set to resume sailings on July 1, 2020.

Would you cruise if wearing a mask is mandatory?

26 May 2020

While some elements of life are starting to open back up around the world, cruise lines remain shut down for the time being and a big questions is what changes will Royal Caribbean make in order to keep guests safe once they resume sailing.

Royal Caribbean has not divulged any specifics of the plans and protocols in intends to introduce once cruising resume, but many believe wearing a mask onboard the ship might be included as part of the new rules.

On land, the requirement to wear a mask is one provision that many tourist-centric venues are taking, including theme parks. Shanghai Disneyland required all guests to wear a face covering when it opened back up again, and a similar rule is in place for when Universal Orlando reopens on June 5.  Disney's CEO recently said it's "likely" that Disney World and Disneyland will also require face coverings.

Keeping guests safe

Royal Caribbean has not announced what steps it will take once cruises resume to mitigate the spread of any illness onboard, but the company has said over and over again it is looking into what best practices it can employ.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard Fain commented recently on the importance of guest health, "we are focused on all aspects of our safe return just to serve as strategy with special emphasis on safety security and health. We know that the public expects that we will elevate our health and safety protocols to a new level. We are prepared to make sure that we meet and exceed those expectations."

"We have been and are working on ways to up our game in this field to ensure that we use our ingenuity, our passion, and our innovation, raise the bar to new heights. We are calling our aspirational program the healthy return to service program. The program will have four main focuses: upgraded screening prior to boarding, enhanced processes and procedures onboard, special focus on addressing the destinations we visit, and procedures for dealing with any reports of exceptions."

Royal Caribbean has even gone to the point of trademarking a name for its own brand of face masks, which may or may not indicate a direction in policy.

Will you wear a mask to go on a cruise?

So the big question is how willing are cruise fans to wear a mask, especially if it means being able to go back on a cruise again.

I recently posed this exact question on Facebook to get a sense of what everyone thought: Would you cruise if wearing a mask is mandatory?

Of the 2,160 people that responded to the poll, over half of the respondents voted "no" to cruising if wearing a mask was mandatory.

About a third voted "yes", and 11% were unsure what they would do.

The comments from those that voted were "spicy", to say the least. The debate of whether or not they would wear a mask on a cruise extended to political/scientific arguments and name-calling.  Clearly, there are some strong opinions on this matter, that make the "can you wear shorts in the main dining room" debate seem trivial.

"If you need to wear mask, can't be safe, simple really."

"I would rather be on a cruise ship wearing a mask than confined to my home. Don't get me wrong I enjoy the comforts of home but I also enjoy the comfort of socializing and meeting new people and if I am required to wear a mask while cruising so be it!"

"Will only even consider a cruise if masks are mandatory. Not a chance I am getting on a ship with thousands of high risk strangers from all over for a week without them."

"I am a huge proponent of mask wearing. I answered 'no' because I won’t be cruising until it is safe to do so without a mask (I.e. there is a vaccine); I did not answer “no” because I disagree with Royal Caribbean requiring masks in the near future."

"No way. That’s the only deal breaker for me."

Your thoughts

What do you think about being able to cruise again, but having to wear a mask while onboard? Would you be willing to do it? Calmly explain your opinion without conspiracy theories or political conjecture in the comments below!

Royal Caribbean Cancellations - Updates, Refunds & FAQs

20 May 2020

A great deal of Royal Caribbean cruises have been cancelled in the wake of the global suspension of cruising, and many readers are wondering if Royal Caribbean will cancel more cruises and what happens if their cruise is included.

Royal Caribbean originally announced it would cease its sailings from March 14 - April 11, 2020, but those dates have been pushed back repeatedly. 

The result has been a lot of uncertainty and doubt about the future of cruising, and what to expect if your Royal Caribbean cruise is cancelled.

Royal Caribbean cancelled cruises

As of March 9, 2021, Royal Caribbean has cancelled nearly all of its sailings through May 31, 2021.

There are three exceptions: Singapore sailings onboard Quantum of the Seas, Odyssey fo the Seas sailings from Israelm, and Spectrum of the Seas departing after April 25, 2021.

Royal Caribbean says it intends to "resume further operation in June", although it has warned more cancelled cruises are possible due to continued disruptions to travel and port operations in various regions.

Official statement from Royal Caribbean

Here is what Royal Caribbean has stated in their official statement:

Royal Caribbean Group continues to focus on the healthy and safe return to cruising for guests, crew and the communities we visit. As we work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government authorities around the world toward this shared goal, we are extending the suspension of certain sailings for our cruise lines.  

What happens if Royal Caribbean cancels my cruise?

If Royal Caribbean cancels more cruises, guests and their travel agents will be notified via email the the sailing is cancelled.

You will have the choice of taking advantage of the Lift & Shift program, getting a 100% refund or a 125% Future Cruise Credit.

There is no wrong option, it boils down to do you prefer to get your money back in cash, or take advantage of a generous credit that can be applied to a cruise in the future.

If you want the refund, your travel agent can take care of the request for you, or you can do it yourself via the self-service refund request form.

Regardless of which option you choose, taxes, port fees and gratuities will automatically be refunded to your original form of payment.

How to cancel your Royal Caribbean cruise

If you are leery of your upcoming cruise and want to cancel your Royal Caribbean cruise, here is what you need to know.

Before final payment date

If you have not reached final payment date yet, you are subject to the traditional means of cancelling your cruise and getting a refund will depend on which type of deposit you booked.

  • If you booked your cruise directly with Royal Caribbean, you must call them to do so. 
  • If you booked with a travel agent, your travel agent will need to cancel the cruise on your behalf.

New and existing bookings created by April 30, 2021

Royal Caribbean's "Cruise with Confidence" program offers the flexibility to cancel a cruise up to 48 hours prior to sailing and receive a full credit of the cruise fare for a future cruise through April 2022. 

Whether it is a booking you already have or one you make right now through April 30, 2021, as long as you cancel at least 48 hours before your sail date, you’ll receive a Future Cruise Credit. 

The Cruise with Confidence program covers sailings booked on or before April 30, 2021, on sailings between June 12, 2020 and April 30, 2022

The credit is valid through  April 30, 2022 and can be used for any open sailings at the time of booking.

Lift & Shift

In lieu of canceling and rebooking, Royal Caribbean introduced Lift and Shift, where you can move an existing booking to next year.

For guests with sailings that qualify for Cruise with Confidence that are ready to move to an alternative sail date in the following year, Royal Caribbean will protect the original price and/or promotion if the alternative sailing is the same itinerary, length, and stateroom category. 

The new sail date next year can be within 4 weeks (before or after) of the original sail date. For example, if you are moving from a July 30, 2020 sailing, you must move to a sailing that is the same itinerary, length, and stateroom category, and the sail date should be June 30, 2021 – August 30, 2021.

Lift and Shift is no longer offered, except if Royal Caribbean cancels a cruise before the guest cancels it.

What happens to any pre-cruise purchases, such as beverage packages, shore excursions, etc. if my cruise is cancelled?

Any pre-cruise purchase will be refunded to the original form of payment.

This includes moving your cruise with our Life and Shift option under the Cruise with Confidence program.

How long does it take to get a refund from Royal Caribbean?

It is no secret that refunds are taking longer than expected, and Royal Caribbean has admitted to delays in processing them.

Refunds are expected to take up to 45 days.

The good news is that refunds are going through, it just may take a bit longer than expected.

When will Royal Caribbean cruises resume?

No one truly knows the answer to this question.

Royal Caribbean has said it currently plans to resume operations in some capacity in June 2021, but that date is subject to change and many expect that date to slip.

The bottom line is, Royal Caribbean will start cruising again when it is safe to do so, and proper procedures and policies are in place to keep guests and crew healthy and safe. Moreover, continued disruptions to travel and port operations in various regions may result in further suspensions. 

Royal Caribbean indicated it is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, global public health authorities and national and local governments to enhance measures to protect the health, safety and security of guests, crew and the communities visited when we are out of service and once operations resume.

Is it safe to cruise when sailings resume?

The answer to if you should cruise when sailings start back up again is going to be a very personal decision.

Royal Caribbean is actively working on developing a comprehensive and multi-faceted program that addresses the public health challenges for everyone on a ship.

In a recent poll, 61% of people indicated they would feel comfortable going on a Royal Caribbean cruise right away once it resumes.

I have been onboard Royal Caribbean vessels when a norovirus outbreak occurred, and feel confident in the cruise line's procedures that mitigate the spread among guests and crew.

Given the nature of the Cruising with Confidence policy, my only advice is you have nothing to lost by waiting and seeing how things progress and make a decision closer to your sail date. Be sure to set a deadline of a bit earlier than 48 hours before your cruise so that you have time for the request to be processed.


Are all Royal Caribbean cruises cancelled?

Yes. Royal Caribbean sailings are cancelled through May 31, 2021. More cancellations are possible depending on a variety of factors.

If I cancel my cruise and Royal Caribbean later cancels the sailing, do I qualify for the cancellation offer?

No. If you opt to cancel before Royal Caribbean cancels the sailing, you cannot take advantage of any offers or better deals the cruise line has in place.

How long will I have to redeem my Future Cruise Credit?

Future Cruise Credits are valid through April 30, 2022 and can be used for any open sailings at the time of booking.

Can you get your money back if you cancel a cruise?

If Royal Caribbean cancels your cruise, you can choose a 100% cash refund.

If you want to cancel the sailing, you can only get a 100% refund if you are before final payment date, per the terms of the booking you agreed to when reserving the cruise.

You can, however, get a 100% future cruise credit refund regardless of the deposit you have by taking advantage of the Cruise with Confidence program. Check the "How to cancel your Royal Caribbean cruise" section on this page for more information.

Your thoughts

Have any questions I did not answer with the above FAQ? Do you agree or disagree with my advice? Any questions I can help you answer? Please share your thoughts below in the comments!

Royal Caribbean ends option for travel agents to complete online check-in for guests

19 May 2020

Royal Caribbean announced effective May 21, 2020, the option for travel agents to assist guests in completing their online check-in will no longer be supported.

Instead, guests will have to choose between conducting online check-in via the Royal Caribbean App (available for both iOS and Android) or through

The cruise line recommends using the Royal Caribbean app as the preferred method for check-in, although it can be completed via the website as well.

Step-by-step instructions for completing Royal Caribbean's online check-in

The reason why using the app is preferred is because it is simpler and offers guests the benefit of Expedited Arrival, any boarding enhancements, and also supports mobile boarding passes where applicable. 

The rationale for retiring the Advisor-Assisted Check-in was, "to ensure your clients are able to unlock the best possible, most customized experience onboard, by taking advantage of any boarding enhancements or cruise details available to them via the Royal Caribbean App."

Guests can complete the check-in process from 90 days to 72 hours prior to their sail date. Check-in at the pier is still an option upon arrival to the cruise terminal.

Royal Caribbean Lift and Shift information & frequently asked questions

11 May 2020

Royal Caribbean's Lift and Shift program offers guests the option to move their existing cruise reservation one year ahead, and it has intrigued plenty of potential cruisers looking to defer their vacations.

The appeal of Lift and Shift is it provides a simple and clean way to move a booking without having to cancel and rebook.

Taxes & fees will be adjusted to reflect the charges associated with the new sailing. Taxes & fees from the original sail date will not be protected.

How does Lift and Shift work?

If you have a cruise booked, Royal Caribbean is offering the opportunity between now and January 31, 2021, to protect the original price and promotional offering of a cruise by selecting a future sailing on the same itinerary type, sailing length, stateroom category, and within the same 4-week period of their original cruise date same-time-next-year.

You do not need to book the same ship or even class of ships.

Does it matter when a cruise was booked?

Guests are eligible to rebook under the Lift & Shift guidelines between now and January 31, 2021. After this point, Lift & Shift expires and is no longer eligible.

All existing bookings, as well as bookings made between now and January 31, 2021 are eligible.

Royal Caribbean announced Lift and Shift will be discontinued on February 1, 2021. However, they are still offering Lift & Shift when new rounds of cruise cancellations are announced.

You will need to refer to the specific Lift & Shift terms and conditions when offered for specifics on how and when it can be used.

Do all rates qualify for Lift & Shift?

Most cruise rates do apply with no restrictions, but there are a few exceptions.

Select restricted rates are ineligible for Lift & Shift and Best Price Guarantee - including but not limited to

  • Net rates
  • Casino rates
  • Travel Agent Friends & Family rates
  • Travel Agent Reduced rates
  • Complimentary staterooms

Are there any blackout dates for Lift & Shift?

Christmas, New Year’s, and Chinese New Year’s cruises are ineligible, unless you are currently confirmed on one of these sailings and wish to take advantage of Lift & Shift to move to the same sailing next year (assuming all other qualifying criteria is met).

Will my pre-cruise purchases at their booked rates come with Lift & Shift?

Unfortunately, not.

Pre-cruise purchases such as beverage packages, shore excursions, etc. will be removed during the re-accommodation process and can be added to the future reservation, as desired, at prevailing rates.

What happens to hotels and transfer purchases?

If you purchased hotel accommodations or transfers with Royal Caribbean, these will be removed during the re-accommodation process, but can be re-added, if desired, once confirmed
on the future ship/sailing of choice at prevailing rates.

If you purchased these outside of Royal Caribbean, you will need to be addressed directly with whomever you purchased it originally.

Is there a limit to how many times I can use Lift & Shift?

Yes, you can only use it once throughout the lifetime of the booking.

Lift & Shift scenarios

While the rules laid out in this post answer many questions, there may still be lingering questions and conundrums you may have about specific situations.

In order to provide better context, Royal Caribbean has provided some examples of when Lift & Shift may or may not be applicable.

Different ship

Currently booked on Explorer of the Seas in Europe this August 2020. Can I Lift & Shift to Harmony of the Seas in September 2021?

Yes, provided the sailing next year is on a departure that falls within a 4-week span of their original sail date, you are able to enjoy a cruise onboard the Harmony of the Seas in
Europe within the same stateroom and on a sailing of the same length. 

Currently booked on an Open Jaw Alaska itinerary onboard Radiance of the Seas departing August 21, 2020 and want to move to a Roundtrip Alaska itinerary onboard Ovation of the Seas departing August 20, 2021. Does this qualify for Lift & Shift?

Yes, assuming you want the same stateroom category since the sailing length, itinerary type, and timing meet the required criteria.

Different Sailing Length

Currently booked on a 4-night Bahamas cruise onboard Mariner of the Seas in October 2020 and now want to move to a 3-Night weekend getaway onboard the same ship in October 2021, can I take advantage of Lift & Shift as long as the same stateroom category is selected?

No, because the two sailings are not the same length. 

While the same itinerary, stateroom category, and 4-week cruise window were selected, you would have to select another 4-night Bahamas cruise in October 2021 to qualify for Lift & Shift.

Different stateroom type

Is it possible to Lift & Shift from 2020 to the same cruise in 2021, but upgrade to a balcony stateroom over the prior booked oceanview?

Yes, you could upgrade to a balcony, but under prevailing pricing and promotional offerings.

Unfortunately, prior rates and promotions will not carry through.

Different timing

Is it feasible to Lift & Shift an Oasis of the Seas cruise from Port Everglades on December 6, 2020 to Oasis of the Seas departing Miami on December 19, 2021?

Since December 19, 2021 is a Christmas sailing and the current reservation is confirmed on a non-holiday December cruise, unfortunately, Lift & Shift does not apply.

Are cruises cancelled eligible for Lift & Shift?

Lift & Shift is applicable to cancelled sailings departing between June 12 and July 31, 2020. Those sailings previously impacted by Royal Caribbean's pause in operation, unfortunately, are ineligible.

We asked our readers if they received their Royal Caribbean cruise refunds yet

07 May 2020

It is no secret that refunds for the cancelled Royal Caribbean cruises has been taking longer than expected. The cruise line has even apologized for the delay in getting money back to guests.

I wanted to know what our readers' Royal Caribbean refund status is, and how many have gotten their money back.

With thousands of guests impacted by the cancelled sailings, it is impossible to get a good sense of where things are, but talking to RoyalCaribbeanBlog readers helps provide some insight into the current status.

Royal Caribbean has announced cruise cancellations three separate times, beginning in March and extending over the last two months. Each time, a large swath of sailings were impacted and guests had to choose between opting for a refund or a future cruise credit.

Refunds were expected to take 30 days to process, but some refunds are taking up to 45 days.

If you browse the comments on this site, or most Facebook groups, you will quickly run across posts from cruisers that are frustrated by having not received their refund or credit yet.

I posted a Facebook poll asking, "If your cruise was cancelled, have you received your refund or future cruise credit yet?"

The poll ran for the last six days, and 585 people responded with their experience.

The leading poll answer was "no" (they had not received a refund or future cruise credit yet) with 327 votes. In second place was "yes" (they had received their refund or future cruise credits) with 167 votes, and "some, but not all" coming in third with 91 votes.

Comments from those that took the poll run the gamut of experiences, from people that received their refunds, to those that received some, and others that are still waiting.

"We were part of the first round of cancellations...we were told our Future Cruise Credit would appear by April 13. We got it late in the day April 10. I canceled all my cruise planner stuff early on so I got that refund within 72 hours."

"I was due to sail on Majesty today and it was cancelled on March24 . I got an email last night to say my Future Cruise Credit was sent to my travel agent but I haven't received any refunds for taxes and gratuities or Cruise Planner yet."

Refund status is also proving to be difficult to track for some, as there are add-on purchases that are refunded separately from the cruise fare refunds.

"Received refund for May 17 on Oasis but have not received drink package and beach club refund. That was really fast. Only 2 weeks"

It seems those that had multiple cruises cancelled were impacted the most, with some refunds being issued, but not all.

"We have thousands outstanding want to book more cruises but need the money to do so."

Have you received your refund or cruise credit yet? Share your Royal Caribbean refund status in the comments.

Royal Caribbean greatly expands ability for guests to cancel and rebook cruises for later

06 May 2020

Royal Caribbean announced a massive enhancement and extension to its Cruise with Confidence program, which allows guests to cancel their cruises up to 48 hours before sailing.

The "enhanced & extended Cruise with Confidence policy" was announced on Wednesday , where guests can cancel up to 48-hours prior to sailing in exchange for a 100% Future Cruise Credit on sailings through April 2022 for bookings made on-or-before August 1, 2020.

In addition, Royal Caribbean announced "Lift & Shift", where guests can move their existing booking to next year, protecting their original price and promotion. 

Lift & Shift is available by selecting a future sailing on the same itinerary type, sailing length, stateroom category, and within the same 4-week period of their original cruise date same-time-next-year.  It is not required that your client rebook on the same ship or ship class.

Guests are eligible to rebook under the Lift & Shift guidelines between now and August 1, 2020. After this point, Lift & Shift expires and is no longer eligible.

All pre-cruise purchases will be removed during the re-accommodation process and can be added to the future reservation, as desired, at prevailing rates. 

You can opt to Lift & Shift only one time.

Guests who take advantage of the Cruise with Confidence program can get a 100% Future Cruise Credit if they decide they would like to cancel their cruise vacation due to the current global situation.

Non-Refundable Deposit bookings are eligible for Cruise with Confidence and follow the same guidelines.

If you purchased a hotel or transfer, here is how it works:

  • When electing for a Future Cruise Credit
    • If you purchased hotel accommodations or transfers with Royal Caribbean, all charges will be automatically refunded.
    • If you booked outside of Royal Caribbean, you will need to contact the company you booked through directly.
  • When opting to Lift & Shift
    • If you purchased hotel accommodations or transfers with Royal Caribbean, these will be removed during the re-accommodation process, but can be re-added, if desired, once confirmed on the future ship/sailing of choice at prevailing rates. 
    • If you booked outside of Royal Caribbean, you will need to contact the company you booked through directly.

Lift & Shift blackout dates:

  • Christmas, New Year’s, and Chinese New Year’s cruises are ineligible, unless you are currently confirmed on one of these sailings and wishes to take advantage of Lift & Shift to move to the same sailing next year (assuming all other qualifying criteria is met). 

Best Price Guarantee Update

Another big change announced is guests can take advantage of Royal Caribbean's Best Price Guarantee up to 48-hours prior to their cruise vacation start date, ensuring the best rate and/or promotion.

This means guests can now take advantage of price drops after final payment date, up until 48 hours before the cruise.  This is applicable to all sailings made on or before August 1, 2020 (including ones made before today's announcement).

Price variances will result in a rate adjustment if requested outside of final payment or a non-refundable onboard credit when inside final payment period.

Prior to this change to the Best Price Guarantee, price adjustments after final payment date would incur cancellation fees that would offset any price adjustment advantages.

Will you be more willing to book a cruise because of this enhanced policy? What do you think of the Lift & Shift offer? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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